To the sadists who invented Turducken and sauerkraut…

GRIN #25

Okay, the top two of my “what’s grosser than gross” foods. Feel free to add your own…

Turducken: Until just a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know turducken existed. Turducken is a piggy-backed clump of duck, turkey and chicken held together in bondage by so many little ropes and cords. This meat sandwich, apparently meant to instill harmony at the dinner table, makes me laugh and dry-heave at the same time.

If you ever hear that I’ve cooked turducken, I am obviously dead and someone is spreading vicious rumors.

Saving the best for last, let’s talk Sauerkraut. When I was a 12-year-old bright-eyed Girl Scout, my troop grew sauerkraut for some badge. Or rather, we watched cabbage rot. Week after week, we’d check on our jar of cabbage and it didn’t disappoint. Grosser and grosser it became. Then, one weekend, we took that jar, set up a booth at Cary Village Mall (now Cary Towne Center) and SERVED that sauerkraut to unsuspecting shoppers.

The terror I felt when our leader put that slimy concoction into a dish…Was she serious? I get a little trembly just thinking about it now. I felt like an accomplice to a crime. But everyone thought our sauerkraut was just lovely. Fabulous. The best they’d ever had. I was stunned. This rotten, stinking, fermented cabbage had been left in a jar for weeks–on a shelf–and people ate it and raved about it.

I still don’t understand.


29 Responses to “To the sadists who invented Turducken and sauerkraut…”

  1. I guess we are not having Brats and sauerkraut tonight? Maybe some Crock Pot.

  2. OMG!! I sooo remember doing that!! Wasn’t my mom the troop leader?
    I agree, sooo nasty!!

  3. Ok, Chrissy – I have always loved sauerkraut (until today)!

  4. Gotta agree with you… Sauerkraut is grosser than gross!! So is relish. Why ruin a perfectly good hot dog with relish!!! Oh, and pickled eggs & beets. What’s up with that??? Yuck.

  5. HAGGIS! Being a foodie (i.e. i am addicted to Food Network) I learned of haggis only recently via one of the many shows I have constantly blaring on the TV in the background. I was absolutely appalled when I heard HAGGIS being described, and I consider myself to be very adventurous in the food world! Please read below if you do not know of the disgusting-ness that is haggis. Vom.

    Haggis is a dish containing sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours.

    • Okay, that wins, hands down. “Simmered in an animal’s stomach?” bleeeech!!!!!! I need to go drink some ginger ale. At least my sauerkraut was rotting in a jar. Great nomination, Mim.

  6. I did not know that is the way sauerkraut was made.. never liked it to start with.. and now I know why!!!! and what about Tea.. girl.. you hate Tea.. fungusized water.. LOL

  7. Ok…I gotta weigh in….while in England several years ago – we saw Faggots on the menu. We were told they were English meatballs (glad we asked, thought they were serving something else at this particular pub!) and that they were delicious. So – we took their advice and ordered them. They were good – but something really unsettled my stomach (maybe it was because they were called FAGGOTS). Once upon American soil – I researched what they were made of and low and behold…this is what we found out…
    “A faggot is a kind of meatball. Faggots are a traditional dish in the UK. It is made from meat off-cuts and offal (aka Internal organs). A faggot is traditionally made from pig’s heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together, with herbs added for flavouring and sometimes breadcrumbs. The mixture is shaped in the hand into balls (that counts you out, huh Christa?), wrapped round with caul fat (the omentum membrane from the pig’s abdomen), and baked.”
    So….there is your English lesson for today! Bon Appetit!

  8. Hi there,

    Just started blogging and my first post was about the evil ‘turducken’ too. Check it out at I loved your description of it! 🙂

  9. I just want to mention here that your qualifications for “what’s grosser than gross” foods is severely lacking in imagination. Two of the worst I know of… Koreans have a similar tradition to sauerkraut in a dish they call kimchi. Kimchi itself isn’t so bad, but it’s essentially water, cabbage, peppers, onions, garlic, and time (i.e. fermenting). I personally prefer eating sauerkraut to kimchi, but this has a lot to do with the fact that sauerkraut is served hot, and kimchi cold… however… there’s another dish that koreans prepare that is very similar to kimchi, except… in place of the cabbage you have a stingray. Now I assume the stingray is cooked before being placed in the jar, but… this is the same country that has served me moving cuttlefish tentacles (not exaggerating) so… sky’s the limit here.

    Second, if you’re unfamiliar with balut, it should easily top your list. A good article on both can be found here:

    Hopefully I’ve added some items worthy of being called grosser than gross. Somehow 3 birds I’d eat alone all in one dish just doesn’t hold up here 😉

    • These are definitely list toppers, Kris. It pretty much makes me not want to go to Korea. Ever.

      • Oh, and for the record, Balut is actually a Philippino dish, not korean. Korea has some of the most amazing food you’re ever likely to find, it’s just a matter of learning how to eat it all. Kalbi is amongst the most amazing dishes I’ve ever had in my life. Marinated pork ribs brought out and roasted over hot coals in front of you, an amazing vinegar sauce that you put raw onions in (they don’t seem raw after they come out) and you wrap it all in lettuce or sesame leaves and wow… just wow… So don’t let my cherry picked horror stories turn you off of korea, there are some amazing things there.

        Also, I have to agree with EvilMachine, your description of sauerkraut is nothing like what I’ve grown up eating. And finding the right restaurant (which is very doable in the states) can make AAAALLLLLLL the difference in the world. It shouldn’t be “slimy”. Find a well rated German restaurant in your area, preferably one run by proud immigrants who brew their own beer too (good beer marks a good german restaurant). And happy eating. (I’d personally suggest a good Jagerschnitzel)

      • Okay, those pork ribs sound incredible. Now I’m ready for lunch and it’s not even 10 am!

  10. EvilMachine Says:

    I don’t think that gross stuff was sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is not slimy, does not rot but ferment, and is eaten *warm*, with a bit of white wine and savory smoked bacon cubes mixed in. 🙂
    I can totally understand how such a awful experience can make you hate it.
    In my childhood, there were some other gross things too, that I later leaned to love. My mother just can’t cook at all… but does it anyway! ^^
    My guess is, that the wrong bacteria got into it. Eeeww…

    For real awesome sauerkraut, I recommend going to Bavaria in Germany, where they are experts. Order something with a large piece of meat like a Schweinshaxe (cured and baked knuckle of pork) with fried potatoes and sauerkraut, and you will notice, that the sourness of the sauerkraut poses a perfect counterbalance to the salt of the cured meat and the heartiness (?) of the potatoes. It’s an awesome combination. 🙂

    If you ever come to Köln (Cologne) however, just mail me in advance, and I can give you some restaurant and food suggestions that you won’t forget. 🙂 (Beware of carnival, new year’s eve, local and global soccer events, or cristopher street day however, as that means we’re in a “state of emergency” where you can party like crazy, but you can’t even get a decent meal anymore. ^^)

  11. try a real turducken from
    better yet try some Boudin, boudin is cooked rice with a pork mixture into a intestine skin, yes the word intestine was used same thing all pork sausages are put into , but the cajun flavor is yum yum

  12. Ok how bout beef stuffed with lamb stuffed with pork stuffed with smoked carp and crawdads, the saute’d in rabbit butter with buzzard gizzard sauce….The Flesh Of ALL Species! ………..Yummo!

  13. And this food complaint from the land where people eat deep fried chocolate bars?

  14. Nolan Dobbs Says:

    Yeah, its kinda gross, but you need to look at the origins. That jar of “Gross stuff” kept people alive during winter and off seasons when ripe fruits and veggies weren’t available. It was either eat that or starve. It has been used as a way of preserving food for transport, for times of famine, and in times of war when food needs to be easy to keep and able to be available to soliders. There are lots of reasons why “gross” things are in existance and its ususally because someone was starving and that is all they had.Now it is tradition and a glimpse of what people in times past had to endure so we could eat twinkies and have fresh, delicious food 🙂

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